Environmental Groups Pile On Proposed Warriors Arena
Environmental groups voice opposition to proposed Warriors arena citing inadequate analysis of traffic, air quality, and noise impacts.
On October 3, 2016, the Center for Biological Diversity, Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, and Sunset Coalition (“Coalition”) submitted an amicus curiae brief in opposition to the arena, joining the petitioners/appellants in alleging that the proposed arena’s environmental analysis was inadequate.
In July of this year, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong rejected a petition by another group of environmental advocacy groups challenging the sufficiency of the environmental analysis for the $1 billion project. The superior court found that the analysis adequately addressed the arena’s environmental impacts, including discussion of alternatives, identification of all feasible traffic mitigation measures, and reasonability of the arena’s associated mixed-use development. Judge Wong also rejected petitioner’s claims that the City failed to fully consider its impact on the neighboring University of California, San Francisco medical center. Given CEQA’s expedited judicial review process for arena projects, the petitioners soon appealed the superior court’s decision to the California’s Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District.
Consistent with the petitioner’s arguments, the Coalition’s amicus curiae brief alleges, among other things, that the arena’s environmental analysis should have further detailed the project’s resulting greenhouse gas emissions. The Coalition also claims that the report improperly relied on the California Environmental Protection Agency’s 2003 guidelines for determining health risks from a project’s air emissions, because use of the 2010 version of the guidelines would show greater health impacts.
The case is now fully briefed. The Court of Appeal has scheduled oral argument for November 16, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.